It was a wild finish to the MLS Decision Day 2017. Stoppage time goals knocked a big favorite out of the playoffs, and a big switch-a-roo took place at the top of the standings. Here’s how each match shook out, and what the result’s implications on the standings was.
MLS Decision Day 2017: Western Conference Roundup
FC Dallas went down early, but the LA Galaxy couldn’t hold off FC Dallas for long. The issue for Dallas was that the 5-1 onslaught was just too little too late. Their free-fall after losing to Sporting KC in the US Open Cup has to be one of the biggest slips in League History. An MLS Cup favorite to outside looking in, in just a matter of a few months. Oh yeah, Los Angeles finished with the wooden spoon (worst record), which will bring happiness to literally every team but the Galaxy.
Houston Dynamo knew a win could potentially get them a home playoff match. With Sporting KC’s current goal scoring struggles, and inability to get results, they knew a bad result in Salt Lake City, coupled with their own victory would see them hosting Sporting KC in the knockout round. Their 3-0 effort put the onus on Real Salt Lake, battling for their own playoff lives, to help them get their home game.
Sporting KC has really started to slip. After looking mighty fine headed into their big Western Conference matchup with Vancouver, they have only picked up one point in their final four matches. Real Salt Lake truly did everything they could on the night, but their loss in Colorado hurt them. Sporting KC couldn’t get the job done, and now they head on out to Houston.
In the most insane finish of all today, the San Jose Earthquakes squeaked through after a strong fight from Minnesota United. Chris Wondolowski got a goal and an assist in the second half and Danny Hoesen also had a goal and an assist. Marco Ureña’s stoppage time winner harkened back to the 2012 Earthquakes, coincidentally the last time they made the MLS postseason.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 22, 2017
Seattle took care of business, albeit in a round-about, slightly concerning way. They went up really early on a Will Bruin goal, but their fortunes flipped in the 20th minute as Clint Dempsey was shown a straight red card after VAR confirmed the call. Dominique Badji took a penalty kick, but blasted it off the upright. Will Bruin went down very easily, and earned a Penalty and red card. Lodeiro stepped up and slotted home. While Seattle was able to jump up to get a bye, they will be without Clint Dempsey for the initial away leg of the 2017 Postseason. With Victor Rodriguez hurt, and Jordan Morris not healthy yet, they might be in a bit of a pickle come next weekend.
The Portland Timbers victory launched them to the top of the table in the Western Conference, and saw the Whitecaps slip down to third. Vancouver got an early lead, but Liam Ridgewell and Darren Mattocks got it back for Portland who never looked back.
Final Western Conference Standings
includes only teams in play for playoff spots headed into today
full Western Conference Standings can be found here
Matchups for the Western Conference Playoffs
Vancouver Whitecaps (3) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (6)
Houston Dynamo (4) vs. Sporting KC (5)
Western Conference Semi-Finals
Portland Timbers vs. Lowest Seed Remaining
Seattle Sounders vs. Highest seeded winner of knockout round matchups
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